Sunday, April 1, 2012

Do you have special plans this week?

This week I am hosting an "event" or "challenge" called "New Testament in a Week." Though participants don't have to make it their goal to read the whole New Testament, I hope to challenge some to read more than they might have before. It is from April 1 through April 8.

I'd be very happy if I was able to read the whole New Testament. But. I'm not going to stress if I don't. I'd be happy if I finished half of the New Testament, to be honest!!! Half would be enough of an accomplishment for me.

Especially since I still want to read a few other books this week. Like Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence's It is Well: Expositions on Substitutionary Atonement. Just look at the table of contents!!!

The Passover, Exodus 12
The Day of Atonement Leviticus 16
Crushed For Our Iniquities Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Ransom for Many: Mark 10:45
Forsaken: Mark 15:33-34
To Save the World: John 3:14-18
Better That One Man Die: John 11:47-52
Propitiation: Romans 3:21-26
Delivered Over to Death for Our Sins: Romans 4:25
Justified By His Blood: Romans 5:8-10
Condemned Sin: Romans 8:1-4
Becoming a Curse for Us: Galatians 3:10-13
Bore Our Sins In His Body on the Tree: 1 Peter 2:21-25
Christ Died For Sins 1 Peter 3:18

And I definitely want to finish watching The Gospel of John. I just love, love, love and adore this movie!!! It's a movie I could gush for hours--if not days--about because it's just that good!!! As I'm watching the film, I'm reminded of a Dorothy Sayers quote:
The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man--and the dogma is the drama...This is the dogma we find so dull--this terrifying drama of which God is the victim and the hero. If this is dull, then what, in Heaven's name, is worthy to be called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused Him of being a bore--on the contrary; they thought Him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certifying Him "meek and mild," and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies. (63)
That God should play the tyrant over man is the dismal story of unrelieved oppression; that man should play the tyrant over man is the usual dreary record of human futility; but that man should play the tyrant over God and find Him a better man than himself is an astonishing drama indeed. Now, we may call that doctrine exhilarating or we may call it devastating; we may call it revelation or we may call it rubbish; but if we call it dull, then words have no meaning at all. (64) 
Let us, in Heaven's name, drag out the Divine Drama from under the dreadful accumulation of slipshod thinking and trashy sentiment heaped upon it, and set it on an open stage to startle the world into some sort of vigorous reaction. If the pious are the first to be shocked, so much the worse for the pious--others will pass into the Kingdom of Heaven before them. If all men are offended because of Christ, let them be offended; but where is the sense of their being offended at something that is not Christ and is nothing like Him? We do Him singularly little honour by watering down His Personality till it could not offend a fly. Surely it is not the business of the Church to adapt Christ to men, but to adapt men to Christ. It is the dogma that is the drama--not beautiful phrases, nor comforting sentiments, nor vague aspirations to loving-kindness and moral uplift, nor the promise of something nice after death--but the terrifying assertion that the same God who made the world lived in the world and passed through the grave and gate of death. Show that to the heathen, and they may not believe it; but at least they may realize that here is something that one might be glad to believe. (262-263)
And I especially, especially love to listen to the album Brother to Brother by Michael Card and John Michael Talbot during Lent. If I'd known that Amazon still had copies to sell, I might have written about it earlier. I just assumed that this CD--released in 1996--was no longer available. Anyway, it's one of the best, best albums ever.

One Faith (listen)
Come Worship the Lord (Psalm 95)
Glory to Thee (O God of Life)
Immanuel/Behold Now the Kingdom
Advent Suite
The Word
The Final Word
The Mystery
Healer of My Soul
Live This Mystery
Come to the Table

He's recorded Come to the Table many times. Here is one version of the song I was able to find on YouTube. It is NOT the one from the Brother to Brother album.

And one version of "The Final Word."

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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